Sen. Larson: Elected Milwaukee City Attorney Grant Langley blaming Sterling Brown for his own mistreatment is a symptom of a sick system

CONTACT: Sen Larson, 608.266.7505

Milwaukee, WI – Today, Senator Chris Larson released the following statement on Milwaukee City Attorney Grant Langley blaming Sterling Brown for the mistreatment he suffered at the hands of a few indefensible officers.

“Everyone who has watched the disturbing videos of the incident involving Sterling Brown have drawn the conclusion that these few bad officers acted in a manner that violated Sterling Brown’s dignity and illustrate a textbook abuse of force. Three of the officers involved were disciplined (albeit inadequately for the severity of the incident) and Chief Morales has stated that the officers had acted inappropriately.

“Yet, when City Attorney Grant Langley filed paperwork in federal court he asserted that ‘The injuries and damages sustained by the plaintiff, if any, were caused in whole or in part by their own acts or omissions.’ This legal gamesmanship signals the inherent bias in the system. Frankly, it is beyond disappointing that given all that we have seen on this incident, the City Attorney would attempt to shift the blame to the victim in order to shirk real accountability. It is games like these that breed the earned distrust of the system.

“When the abuse is so plain to see that both Mayor Tom Barrett and Police Chief Alfonso Morales acknowledge and apologize for it, it should be an open and shut case. Yet when the elected, independent City Attorney representing bad cops denies it, and actually blames the victim for it in court fillings, then it becomes symptomatic of the prejudice that perpetuates a broken system.

“The people of Milwaukee deserve more from our city than this. If their actions are this impossible to defend, those that choose to abuse the trust of the public should be fired before they hurt more of our neighbors and shed any further negative light on our great city. We cannot continue to telegraph to our marginalized neighbors that the system doesn’t work for them, that mistreatment, so clearly displayed, will be ignored, and that justice is beyond their reach.”

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